Wednesday, February 6, 2008

One Pot Rasam Rice With Tomatoes & Fresh Lime Juice

Rasam Rice with Toor & Masoor Dals
I came up with this innovation when we were sick with a bad cold. Not only did my family need a soothing bowl of Rasam Rice, I badly needed one too. So dire necessity inspired the invention of One Pot Rasam Rice and all of it disappeared in record time! The cumin and black pepper (in the rasam spices) are said to be the perfect antidotes for cold and cough. Rasam and rasam rice are India's answers to bring comfort when one is afflicted with cold, flu, or feeling out of sorts! The hot, brothy, and easy to digest rasam is hydrating and nourishing while the warm spices help to thin the mucus and clear the sinuses and lungs.

We adore rasam and rasam rice so much, we don't wait for cold & flu season to make them. Rasam is a wonderful starter and also can make a light meal with freshly cooked rice and any simple veggie dish like Thoran, Mezhukuvarati, Upperi, "Fry", etc.

I use short or long grain brown rice and toor, masoor dal or sometimes a combination of half masoor and half toor dal. This is a great recipe to make ahead; it is great for busy weeknights. Rasam rice freezes well also. If fresh tomatoes are not great, canned or simply dried tomatoes (not marinated) work well.


If you don't have the homemade Rasam Powder, it is a spice mix and is readily available at Indian grocery stores.

Masoor and Toor dals are available in Indian or other markets. Masoor dal is often called Red or Pink Lentils and cooks very quickly even without soaking.
Rasam Rice

8 Servings


1 cup Rice, any kind
1 cup Toor Dal OR Masoor Dal
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Salt or to taste
2 Large Tomatoes, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Rasam Powder, or to taste
1 large Lime, extract juice
4 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro


1/2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds
1 pinch Asafoetida
2 sprigs Fresh Curry Leaves, minced


Sort the dal for stones or other debris. Wash the rice and dal in two or three changes of fresh water. Let them soak in plenty of fresh water to cover for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Bring 6 cups of water to boil and add the rice and dal with the turmeric and salt. Bring to a boil again and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes stirring often all the way to the bottom to prevent sticking or burning. The rice and dal maybe cooked in a pressure or slow cooker according to manufacturer's directions.

Stir in the Rasam Powder and the chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft and practically melt into the rice mixture, about 10 minutes. At this point the rice/dal mixture should be creamy and well cooked. Add more boiling water if a thinner consistency is desired. Turn off heat, place the curry leaves on top and cover.

Heat the oil in a small pan to make tadka. Add mustard and cumin seeds and cover. When the spices finish dancing, quickly add asafoetida. Stir to mix and pour carefully over the curry leaves into the rasam rice being careful to avoid splashing the hot oil. The meeting of moist curry leaves and the hot oil is generally an exciting event; so be cautious.

Stir in cilantro leaves and the lime juice and serve hot in wide soup bowls. Rasam rice delicious by itself or served with simple vegetables and roasted papadams.


Rasam Rice
Rasam Rice with Okra, Bittermelon Fry, Roasted Papadam

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